JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Starting soon, there will be a new way for you to park downtown.
The city of Jacksonville has partnered with a company called Streetline to introduce a new way for Jacksonville drivers to find open parking spots downtown and, the mayor hopes, to bring more people downtown by taking some of the frustration out of trying to find a spot. The mayor says this project will come at no extra cost to taxpayers.
"Drivers will be able to use a smartphone app called 'Parker' to zero in on available spaces," says Mayor Brown.
Mayor Brown was joined by the Senior Vice President of Streetline, Pete Salgado, who says the app will work with sensors in the pavement to tell drivers where parking spots are available. The sensors can tell when there is metal on top of them so it knows if a spot is open or not. In addition to finding open spots, the app also will allow users to set a timer on their phone that will keep track of how long is left on your meter and notify you when you're running low on time. It'll also have a function that will eventually allow users to pay for parking directly from the smartphone app.
Salgado says studies show that over thirty percent of all congestion in all downtown areas is caused by drivers going around and around looking for parking spaces. People who frequent downtown like Trey Brunson say it’s a welcome change.
"I think people don't come downtown because they know it's going to be difficult to find parking. They don't know if it's going to be safe downtown.
Brunson says he'd absolutely make use of an app like that, especially when we're using our smartphones for everything else. Rachel Ackerman says she would also use it and is just glad the city is finally doing something about downtown parking.
"A lot of it is blocked off and whatnot for different events but they need to do something about the parking."
There will be 100 spots to start with and they’ll go four blocks down Laura from the Landing as well as Bay, Adams, and Forsyth between Laura and Hogan. Cities like Fort Worth, Texas, Los Angeles, and many others have already begun to use this technology. The sensors will be installed over the next several months and afterward they'll launch the Parker smartphone app to transmit the parking data to users.